Overturning Napoleon-era rights, France bans smacking kids

Overturning Napoleon-era rights, France bans smacking kids
Image: Reuters video screen grab

[Ed. – Nothing like a law with no punishment for breaking it.]

Members of the French parliament voted in favor of a ban on parents smacking their children, falling into line with the majority of European Union member states, although there will be no punishment for breaking the law.

The civil code will be updated to state that parental authority must be exercised without violence and that parents may not resort to “physical, verbal or psychological violence, nor to corporal punishment or humiliation”.

The ban was approved in a thinly attended National Assembly session in the early hours of Friday, with 51 votes in favor, one against and three abstentions.

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It reverses parental rights to discipline children using corporal punishment granted under Napoleon in the early 1800s.

“Education through violence can only create more violence in society. It also leads to failure at school, illness, suicide, anti-social behavior and delinquence,” said Maud Petit of the centrist MoDem party, a partner in parliament with French President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party.

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